tv [untitled] July 22, 2011 9:01pm-9:31pm EDT
i'm joined by kevin zeese in baltimore he's a spokesperson and lawyer for the government accountability group protect our elections and author of an open letter to the f.b.i. and as he see urging them to investigate murdoch's news corporation in the us in washington we have dave sal danae he is communications director for free press and in london we cross to toby young he's a journalist and author of how to lose friends and alienate people all right gentlemen crosstalk rules and in fact that means you can jump in anytime you want kevin if i can go to you first because of your open letter here i took a look at some of the button laws and by laws of the f.c.c. and they basically their job is to make sure how the airwaves are used and they have to ensure that they're used by people of quote good character who serve the public interest and speak with candor so does murdoch's television empire at least have any place in the united states today in light of what we have heard coming out of the u.k. . well we're here you know the u.k.
and also we're hearing some tidbits united states of phone hacking but where you are the u.k. would make murdoch and his news corp violator of the foreign corrupt practices act which has criminal and civil penalties. basically doesn't allow u.s. corporations to bribe foreign officials if murdoch is bribing foreign officials as seems to be the case they're talking about one hundred hundred thousand pounds or one hundred thousand dollars worth of bribes to the london police if that happened evolve the law and the f.c.c. should look at that and say that the twenty four stations the own that cover forty percent of united states he should not be allowed a license of a news corp's license it should be revoked and a new new new station are sure to come into play so i don't think he has any place united states and it's very important for. ok tobi i'd like to go to you in london what do you think about what kevin had to say because we all know on this panel that these kind of practice is have been going on for a long time ok why the moral play now. well i think i'd.
ask kevin to define what he means by bribe a little more carefully because that sounds slightly as though he's overstating it what some of rupert murdoch's british newspapers have been accused of doing is paying the police the story for stories giving them tips in return for tip offs and i think that is absolutely in demick within any tabloid newspaper culture in virtually any country in the world it's not a case i don't think anyone at this stage has accused news international the british subsidiary news corp of actually bribing police officers to drop charges against them or anything like that it's simply paying for information tipoffs ok that is that is that can still fall foul of the corrupt practices act came and you want to jump in there before we go today i think. yeah i think that i would i think there would still would fall of the problems of the federal foreign corrupt
practices act he's essentially giving money to a foreign official in order to benefit their corporation and in a probably and that's that's what a bribe is there would because they're not not going to drop charges that kind of thing although it's pretty interesting how those goes into this investigation started there isn't a five didn't really proceed very far so you will find more about about that later but i do think that what the british were told me described would be considered a bribe ok dave if i know it sounds to me we were playing go ahead toby go ahead and i'm going to. suppose woodward or bernstein. paid deep throat for the information which led to the watergate exposure do you think that that means that katharine graham should go to jail well it's not that there's not a foreign corrupt practices act with there does raise questions and in fact it's become too common united states media paying for stories ok to be so this is what i want to get you and i want to go to dave right now again you know these kind of practices are endemic in media in the english speaking world the western world ok
so again you know why is this kind of moral outrage out there because you could make the claim and i'm not making it they did murdoch is being turned into a scapegoat for what everybody else does including his organisation. well i would i would say that singling out news corp and singling out murdoch in particular is shortsighted. yeah i'm not going to speak to you know how many other news organizations and gauge an outright bribery and what kevin described. as a matter of law under the former foreign corrupt practices act is bribery that's giving money to officials in order for it to entice them to do something or not do something within within their authority and certainly giving over private information would fall under that. whether other organizations are engaged in that same same precise activity i think i think is you know it's i wouldn't be surprised
at all if it were happening i can't i can't confirm or deny that it is but looking at news corp as an isolated incident or isolated company that does does this sort of thing i think is naive ok tobi i mean one of the things that we're in the twenty first century with the internet and everything journalism tell me it's all very very competitive it's very very expensive and if we look at business journalism is simply a business then we should expect something like this to happen i mean we're you just have to get cut throat and you gotta go cut cut corners go around the law maybe even break the law but everybody seems to be doing it and i think that it's because journalism has become just a purely business model and that's how we've gotten to the point where we are now while there may be something in that i think certainly the fact that there is so much competition in the british newspaper market particularly now that readers declining on an almost daily basis that is going to lead to
a lot of corner cutting but i think that one of the misnomers about this particular scandal is that it represents a failure of regulation now for many years the british political class who. wanted to regulate the press much more heavily mainly because the press are constantly delving into their own wrongdoing they want to tame the press and my worry is that this scandal will be used as an excuse to regulate much more heavily the british press and it's actually not a failure of the existing self regulate free mechanism that we have in place at present it's really a failure of the police to enforce the law because bribing officials in this country is illegal and phone hacking is also illegal the problem is because of the collusion between some of news international newspapers and the metropolitan police force the metropolitan police have an enforced the law as rigorously as they should have done but it's not a failure of regulation it's
a failure of law enforcement well kevin it seems to me at least in the u.k. and we can talk about the usa as events to develop there but you know the political class the media class and law enforcement it was just a kind of nice cozy relationship among all three of them ok all of them quote unquote benefited somehow. no question and they all are benefiting i think told me the point is exactly right that it really was a failure of an informant of current laws. of bribery in beijing people's privacy through hacking phones are illegal here as well and i think that's a that's a really good point you know in the united states we have seen some cutting of corners you could call it maybe desperation as as revenue sink as readers think as viewers think the media seems to be going the wrong direction with more anonymous sources more paying people to speak things that were in the past really of limited use now are going to be too commonplace i think where the transition period of our media we've gone from this can't we have this concentrated corporate media that has
no credibility among the american public only twenty percent of the public believe the media tells the whole story and we're going to transition into a new form of democratized media and this will help get us there and dave this program is broadcast all around the world so can you tell my viewers outside of the united states how this scandal is being covered in the united states. not particularly well is the short answer there's been been very little in television coverage c.n.n. has done has done a bit of fox and fox news channel has done almost nothing frankly and in fact c.n.n. reported that in the fox news channel's. media criticism program called fox news watch during a commercial break the people on the on the program were discussing how they weren't going to discuss this story. so kevin makes a very very strong and powerful point that concentration of media power in very few
hands will lead to this sort of thing it's it's natural that a corporation is going to protect its own interests and news corp is an enormous company so no other no other news corp property is going to go to terribly far out on a limb to to investigate this story. the wall street journal the bible of a wall street. is now owned by news corp or news corp and is is not going to give shareholders in news corp a real story on on this and what it could mean to their to their bottom line and that's that's a real problem you don't get real news when when so much power is concentrated in toby you want to jump in there go ahead i just want to take issue with the optimistic note kevin struck imagining. this the fallout from the scandal would
ultimately be good for democracy my worry is that if the fallout from this scandal is greater regulation of the press and a much more rigorous in full statement of the existing rules as they affect the press is the you'll end up with a very regulated print media which will then be able to. it's with a completely unregulated internet media and i'm not sure that if people become less reliant on the print media even on television news and more reliant on what they gaining from the internet that that will be good for democracy kevin you want to reply to that it's an interesting point well of course where we're actually seeing much less reliance on the print media the court the corporate media and the corporate television news people just don't trust any longer i'm sure it's true you mention in britain it's happening it's happening here dramatic drop some confidence dramatic drops in viewership and readership or see the same time is an increase in more democratic forms of media and it's not just the murdoch scandal that's going
to add to this it's a whole series of events almost a perfect storm of events i was ok i was going to let you finish that point out for a short break and after a short break we'll continue our discussion on murdoch and his empire state with our team. and. the. nature and discover its beauty. communicate with the want to. test yourself and become. see what nature can give you.
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hotel time ambassador type the hotel full points and would print. these splendid hotel in touch with a hotel in touch a girl the photo of a girl gone how would international house flood to change every green hotel. and you can see. her. welcome back to cross talk a little about to remind you we're talking about murdoch under siege. ok kevin i'd like to go back to you and maybe start with the question a question and we look at how competitive corporate media is today in this scandalous demonstrating it is corruption
a necessary ingredient to be competitive. well it will become even more. if the department of justice does not work aggressively to enforce the laws against murder and investigate and i'm a big fan of the freedom of press and don't want to see the government you know investigating mealtime of the freedom of press does not give a license to break the law to tap phones to bribe officials those are illegal and they should be investigated as crimes and not be blocked by from the press and my saying earlier i see a greater democratization the media occurring not just because a murdoch but the lack of credibility of the media murdoch giving a million dollars plus to the republican party and as n.b.c. and fox news be going to the news outlets people just all trust in a more people want to see more democratized media things like wiki leaks for example are also pushing in that direction by making it easy for people to anonymously provide information to the media through wiki leaks and then we can leaks publishes it and then all of us can become media outlets the social networks
the blogs the web sites and we all become media reporters and we can all interpret the news based on documents that are anonymous the leaks that's a democratization of media that i think is a positive step i agree with toby that i don't want to see a media more regulated by do you want to see media you know of is forced to obey basic criminal and laws against invasion of privacy ok kilby do you think media is held to a lower bar when it comes to obeying the law because you know we we we have woodward and bernstein you know looking for the bad guys you know interested in journalism we don't like that and we we like seen journalists going after the bad guys and that's part of this story here but are journalists held to a lower bar and doing their job. i think that. there's been a certain journalists being granted a degree of latitude particularly tabloid journalists because mainly the people that they are breaking the law to find out about are celebrities sportsman and so forth and there is a huge amount of public sympathy when
a celebrity gets caught with his pants down so they think well if you had to have his phone to get that story so be it it doesn't cause public outrage there isn't a political outcry i think what there are two to two distinguishing characteristics about this scandal i mean it really exploded when it was discovered that when one anyway some news of the world reporters were accused of having listened into the voice mails of a missing girl who turned out to be dead and then deleted those voice mails after listening to them thereby destroying potential evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation that caused public outcry and that that that triggered this murder copulates as we call it here the other reason i think is that the reason murdoch in particular is being targeted not just because it's journalists at his newspapers were accused of wrongdoing it's also fueled by political analysts he's generally thought to be a conservative and in the liberal left media in particular the guardian or most liberal newspapers really been doggedly the searing this story now everyone knew
that these kinds of things were going on not just on murdoch's papers but on all the tabloids and no one did in the last government didn't do anything about it i think that's partly because rupert murdoch threw his weight behind the last two labor prime ministers it was only when he switched support to the conservative party that the labor party and the liberal left media became up on their high horse about these wrongdoings ok if i go to you dave i mean if it's all about politics in the u.k. and i accept that is it all about fear in the united states because guys have pointed out to me it's not covered very much in the united states are you know shareholders are afraid every people are afraid to getting on murdoch's toes because they don't know which way it's going to blow in the us. yeah i would i would agree with toby that there is quite a bit of a far too cozy relationship between the media in general and and politicians and in news corp's case in particular fox news channel is widely regarded fairly or unfairly as a as the organ of the republican party and i mean if you just look at look at who
they're who they're on air personalities personalities have been it's loaded with either current or potential presidential candidates from the republican party so it's no secret that fox news channel tends to favor a conservative point of view and if you're a politician on the right you certainly want to curry favor and if you're a politician on the on the left you have to be afraid of that attack machine coming after you and they've claimed a number of scalps in the pull in the political establishment here and nobody wants to put his or her neck too far out on that line. campaign if i go to you do you has bit murdoch been successful because of corrupt business practices because we did a program on this subject last week and we had a gentleman that was from the left but actually praised murdoch for his business model but maybe that business model was successful because of these practices. well
yeah before this scandal broke you'd say it was aggressive business practices we don't know yet how aggressive they are united states do they as they're doing the u.k. cross the line of criminal behavior and if they are then i think his business model will not be seen as one that's worth worth copying and i gree with david that we do have this kind of cozy relationship between politicians and media united states in fact politicians need the media to get elected they need appear on the air to get elected they pay the media tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue they raise money from billionaires or do that and it's a symbiotic relationship between big business big media and the two big corporate parties and one for she was led to as a total corruption of us democracy we we no longer are politicians they resent the people's interests we have policies that represent big business interests whether they're democrats or republicans we have politicians that kowtow to the media and play the twenty four hour media cycle we really don't care and i think that's one reason why you're seeing readership and viewership dropping people see this corrupt
symbiotic relationship as undermining really any kind of any any functional government we have a dysfunctional government that can't be all health care can't deal with energy can't deal with climate we can't deal with any is issues it's a it's a disgrace tell me go ahead joe i was going to ask you go ahead toby go first go ahead. i wouldn't ask you that you currently have a dysfunctional government in the united states we're still waiting for you to result in the debt ceiling we're very worried about that at the moment in europe i think one thing i would say in favor of one aspect of the business model is that quite often cross subsidy goes on so he uses the profits from the more profitable parts of his business to subsidize the less profitable parts and in the u.k. for instance the news of the world and the some the two best selling tabloids by news international he the profits from those papers are used to keep afloat and use paper called the times which is one of the oldest and most respected newspapers in this country. and does that i think partly because of the political influence that
having a respectable serious global newspaper gives him but also i think because of his love of newspapers you can see that in new york i mean he keeps the new york post afloat it loses tens of millions of dollars a year i don't think it grants him that much political clout but he just clearly loves newspapers he has a blood it's in his family and i think my worry is that if murdoch pulls out of the u.k. the times for one is going to close gave way why can't we go back to the issue of regulation why can't there be regulations in separate countries where you can own one newspaper or a new or a television station or a television station and what a magazine like why can't it be industry regulated from an ownership point of view where you don't have someone like murdoch that is so are all powerful particularly in the u.k. in the united states we could avoid something like this upfront you know if you want to be in t.v. good be in t.v. but don't be in print. well that's it is to be theoretically that is the case yeah
that is the case and that's how that's how it was before rupert murdoch decided that he wanted to own t.v. stations and newspapers in the same in the same cities and through a very aggressive lobbying campaign was able to get an exception for that that now has become the rule television stations and newspapers owned in the same owned by the same company in the same cities lead to very troubling situations because. american democracy is founded on the principle that the marketplace of ideas will lead to better democracy and if you have a newspaper and now with with. several shared service agreements you can have the same company operating to television stations in the same city where it owns a newspaper and in a smaller town there might be no competing newspaper there might be no competing television stations so in that sort of situation you've got one company. dominating and monopolizing the entire debate you're not going to get opposing points of view
free press is an organization that is founded on the idea that loosening media consolidation and the corporate grip on media democratizing it through a very various means including internet as kevin discussed and through better public media and through more diverse ownership will lead to better democracy because people will will get opposing sides and you know just by this i think you'll see she's able to if you want your time you'll start talking about the social good the public good and that's almost never mentioned or seen in media today because it's just one big business and it's very competitive and very lucrative kevin what about that i mean his journalism really does detach itself from its roots of serving the public good. you know it has and i think that's also part of the cause your leisure which we media and politicians used to be that we consider the year waves radio and t.v. the public airwaves and public as you read early in the on the first question of the f.c.c. is mission including a public interest that's almost as
a peer even though it's in the f.c.c. as mission you don't really hear much about anymore we don't even call the public there is only now we call the commercial media and i that's been a major mistake and i hope that this scandal and the declining revenues and viewers and readers of commercial media. are starting to happen that we start to move back toward a public interest perspective that these are public airwaves and start to require the media do much more for the public good including giving everyone every candidate who gets i'm going to tell me the last word toby got the last word of the program go ahead i think the problem with. the state effectively playing a greater role in the media whether through subsidy or through regulation through requiring the media to be more balanced and so forth and so the public good is that that just becomes another mechanism for the state to control what's printed in the media but maybe they just cuts out the middleman they don't have to curry favor with rupert murdoch anymore they can just do it directly and i'm not sure that's
a preferable system ok dave i'm going to give you the last last word go ahead what do you think. ok well you know i have i have i am a former journalist i feel better now but what i have what i have seen too much of when i was in the business and since i got out of the business is that too much of it depends on access you're not going to do a story how the employees will know i completely run out of time many thanks so my guess it in london baltimore and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are to see you next time and remember cross talk rules. and you.
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five thirty am in the russian capital good to have you with us here on r t easier headlines from norway hit by twin terror attacks first of bomber rich through the heart of the government district in the capital also killing at least seven the prime minister's office one of those hit but he was elsewhere when the blast happened then on the island over the toy north of the capital a lone gunman opens fire at a youth camp of the governing labor party eyewitnesses say more than twenty people may have been killed there locals who tried to rescue some of those injured claimed seeing dozens of bodies in the water a man has been arrested with officers saying they suspect
a link between the two attacks. norway's prime minister stoltenberg called the attacks bloody and cowardly as he formed an emergency government meeting to have a crisis elementary reports suggest the cause of the explosion was a car bomb with a one kilometer blast radius reports say the terror group helpers of the global jihad had first claimed responsibility in response to norway's involvement in afghanistan but later retracted this statement elsewhere following the. shooting on new toy island ahmed was detained who police now confirm is an ethnic norwegian and detonated explosives were also found on the island where some seven hundred teenagers had gathered for a political rally. down top of the story as developments happen but up next our series of special reports are you travel to russia southern year olds are region boasting magnificent and unspoiled wilderness stay with us here on our.
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